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Mike and Brenda Crary are ordinary Saddleback Church members who responded to Pastor Rick’s challenge to step out in faith by going on an Orphan Care trip to Rwanda in the summer of 2014. They decided to bring their entire family, and together through Saddleback’s Orphan Care Initiative they learned how to help equip local churches to empty orphanages. They thought they knew what was in store for them, but as often happens on a PEACE trip, God used them in a way they never expected.

As part of their home visits made with local church members, Mike and Brenda stopped by to check in on a family prior to their reunification with their 17-year-old daughter. This family had placed their daughter in the orphanage long ago thinking it would be the best place for her. It wasn’t until they heard from their local church about the harm caused by institutional care that they decided to reunite.

The mother, Mama Evette, was tending to newborn twins as she waited with anticipation for her daughter to return home from the orphanage for good. As the Crarys held the newborns and chatted with the family, they learned that Mama Evette was a genocide survivor who had given her life to Christ at a local church sometime after the genocide. Soon after, she married her ex-boyfriend when he gave his life to Christ. They had recently had the twins whom the Crarys were now admiring.

Noticing the babies’ strong startle response, Mike shared how all babies have the inborn reflex to raise their hands when they feel the sensation of falling. Mama Evette was astounded. She told the Crarys how she had been praying about this behavior and was deeply worried her babies were experiencing demonic attack. Friends had even visited and advised Mama Evette to take her baby to the witch doctor for treatment. But in faith, Mama Evette had refused to go because she was now a believer in Jesus.

Brenda further explained how premature babies exhibit the behavior more frequently because their developing nervous systems are highly sensitive. Mama Evette confirmed that the twins were born prematurely. Excitement filled the room as this mother realized both her babies were healthy and growing normally. God had listened to Mama Evette’s prayers and responded by granting her the reassurance she craved through the Crarys’ visit.

God could have chosen anyone to answer Mama Evette’s prayers, yet He orchestrated that the Crarys would travel to Rwanda to be the vehicle of his love.  It didn’t take any special skills – just knowledge they already had, training they received, and a willingness to say “yes” to God. Because the Crary family had the faith to go, God used them in the lives of Mama Evette and her babies.

If you are interested in joining Orphan Care on a PEACE trip like Mike and Brenda, join us at the monthly PEACE night gathering on at 6pm in Tent 3 on the 4th Saturday of every month, or contact us at orphans@saddleback.com or by phone at (949) 609-8555.



Comments
Posted by Alice Craycraft 4/26/2015 4:19:00 PM
I am so proud. This is my nephew and his family. Funny how just a little thing as knowing that a startle response is normal can help put a mother's heart at ease. In this "me generation" it is so thrilling to see people, especially families, give up their time and talent to help others less fortunate. May God continue to bless their service.
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